Friday, May 28, 2004

India Update. After the elections it appears that the Congress party is back in power and the Hindu Nationalist party BJP is out (and by out I mean that they lost a majority in the legislature and therefore also the prime minister).
Interesting thing to note is that the Congress party won on the coat tails of Sonia Gandhi, herself not a native to India. She had earlier expressed no interest in leading the government, and after she led the party to victory she turned down the position of Prime Minister when it was offered to her. She has a bad taste for this kind of thing after her late husband, himself the PM once, was assassinated in the early 80s. The party instead elected Dr. Manmohan Singh as PM.
One of the direct benefits of having this primarily secular party in power is a reverse of the path the BJP was on to discriminate any other religion other than Hinduism. Christians and Muslims alike were more than discriminated against. It was illegal to convert to Christianity in some states.
Right away many countries around the area have expressed interest in strengthening ties with India. Although this article talks about Iran and China prominently. Not the countries you want trumpeting your party's rise to power.

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